“The way I see it” is a new feature series about what windsurfing means to some of the biggest names in our sport. Windsurfing goes beyond the mainstream sports, it offers a lifestyle that is almost unrivalled and this is why we wanted to share what it really means to those who experience it on the highest of levels.
We decided to start this new series with Taty Frans, one of the most famous and dedicated freestyle and slalom sailors.
Over to Taty…
BS: What does windsurfing mean to you?
TF: Windsurfing is the best sport that ever happened to me, hear me out. Windsurfing can teach you life lessons you won’t learn anywhere else. Let me share a few with you.
Sometimes I’m surprised I wasn’t born in the sea, hahaha.
My life in the water started at a young age but before windsurfing my brother and I were always spending countless hours swimming and fishing after school. I used to practice Soccer, Tennis, Baseball but never felt the love for the sports, I always ended up skipping practice to be in the sea. When my brother discovered windsurfing I followed him, this was the best thing that happened to me. I started to practise a sport that has something in common with the sea and to be able to try something completely new is just amazing. When I was young my parents always had problems, it was just the perfect therapy for the mind. If I see where I am now and all I have been through, I feel I am an important part for this sport and I just want my achievement and be an inspiration. I hope that my motivation can touch more people to take part in this beautiful sport.
BS: What do you do to keep your passion alive?
TF: I feel that the experience of being part of this sport and being involved in the research and development team of boards, sails and fins has helped me become successful in my life. Being involved in such big projects keeps the positive energy flowing to always go on the water find things to progress for the next seasons and to help windsurfing and at the same time help myself to make progress and learn more. Windsurfing is an endless learning sport, each day you learn something new and that makes you go each day when the wind blows to just get your gear ready and when you step on that board, hold that boom in your hands let it all flow. The passion for windsurfing comes naturally, I come from a family of fishermen and we always lived one minute from the sea and as windsurfing is part of the nature the wind/sea, the passion stays. I am addicted to this sport and I don’t need to do anything else to keep the passion alive.
Most of the people you hang out with are the sort that will always be routing for you or you for them, routing for you to stick that amazing move or celebrating results together, we are the kind of people that always congratulate each other. Be open, be positive, support the generation and share your passion, that is what keeps my PASSION ALIVE!
BS: How do you feel when you are in the water, just you and you gear?
TF: I feel in peace with myself and everything that is around me
Yes, it was fun to play around at the beach, but to be in the ocean? To feel the rhythm of the waves underneath my board and the wind in the sail. Windsurfing around with dolphins, turtle, rays, good friends (and luckily for me, no mayor injuries). You can’t beat it.
Windsurfing is not just a sport, it’s a perspective. It’s a way of life. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but at the same time it’s amazing. The endless amazing sunset session that are magical, or the moments when you are on your favourite sail and board in the waves and you get that super big air and you are up there with the sail fully sheeted in trying to go higher and you feel the wind passing through and it’s so quiet up there and you land that perfect backloop, pushloop or whatever you can think, that is the magic. It can be explained once you are on the ocean, in a lake or a bay and you are enjoying the speed, flipping through a trick, riding that perfect wave. And the best thing is that everything is up to you because at the end of the day, it’s your life and having fun is part of what you will have to live with.
-TATY FRANS NB9 –